Gabriel

Gabriel

Interior Alaska

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Robert's Passions

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Gabriel

Gabriel wrote a review of on January 26, 2012

5 5

Like others have said, these boots are terrific. Thought I'd share my experience with them. Purchased six months ago mainly with the idea of very cold weather bicycle commuting, where footwear has always been a problem, especially after -20F, with whatever the windchill factor might be added to that. Whatever I tried didn't really work: Too clunky to pedal in (Neo overboots), too cold-conducive (Sorels), etc. These boots have summarily solved all these issues. They are quite light, flexy, resistant to wet weather and very cold weather (riding at -25F with a single sock with no noticeable chill on the feet! WTF?!), and have a slim enough profile that pedaling and even jogging in them is just fine. They are also perfectly compatable with the two different snowshoe bindings I've put them in.
Only major downsides: Made in China. And no removable liner, so I wouldn't take this on any extended backcountry trips, and leave that job up to the good ol' Sorels instead. These two points aside, they've been a perfect boot so far and get my full recommendation. Hope this is helpful!

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Gabriel

Gabriel wrote a review of on November 16, 2011

4 5

I'd like to offer an opinion of how these gloves hold up after a full year of use in a wide variety of settings and uses. When I bought these gloves, I was looking for quality and versatility- I live in the Interior of Alaska, where a large part of life is spent in the cold. What I found was that, with the Hestra Ski Cross gloves on, I wound up using them as much for work as for play.
As for the warmth of these gloves in some typical situations: snow-shoveling around the house at -10F was no problem. Backcountry skiing and snowshoeing at the same temperatures, not bad so long as you stay moving and flex your hands often (poles get cold). Hiking eleven miles out to a hotsprings once, the temps dropped to at least -25F, and my hands got too cold for comfort... It was nice to have a fire to warm up by! Winter Skills school in N. California during the winter, up in the mountains, these gloves often became soaked when the snow was wet, even after a few thorough waterproofing treatments. This was baffling and really inconvenient to dry them out under minimal shelter and fire conditions, but any liner-less leather glove would be, I suppose.
So, at this point, these gloves have been retired from serious backcountry snow stuff, and now are used mainly for bird hunting in the late fall or warmer winter days (anything around Zero to -10F), as the flexibility, grip and dexterity of these gloves has become much better over time, and the finger fits well thru a standard trigger guard on a shotgun.
More random observations: The sizing chart was accurate for me. The quality is great- no busted seams after all this time, and a few scars on the knuckles proove these things can handle the occational rock or errant bow-saw. The metal logo (which apparently has been replaced by a cloth patch) is terrible- sharp edges scratched my goggles more than once- good riddance. No snot wipe was a bummer. Great big-ass carabiner clip has probably saved these gloves from being dropped a thousand times. Fair to decent insulation. Overall, a very good product, and would buy them again for use in wholesome fun on fair snow days!

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Gabriel

Gabriel wrote a review of on January 27, 2010

5 5

These boxers are about the best you'll find on the market. Speaking as a born-and-bred penny pincher, it was difficult at first to justify spending 35-45 american dollars on a pair of shorts. However, as soon as you do, you'll find out how tough, comfortable, and long lasting these guys are. Hope it's not too much info, but for the past three years, I've worn a pair of these under my bib tights while commuting through some fairly difficult Alaskan winters on a bike- My junk remains surprisingly dry, odor-free, and there's no chafing or restriction whatsoever beneath other tech. layers. Also used them for cold-weather hiking, warm- (but not HOT- this is wool, mind you) weather hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, etc. and the level of adaptability and performance remains very high indeed.
If you really do require performance gear, in an array of situations, this is the absolute best product that I'm aware of. Highly recommended skivvies.

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Gabriel

Gabriel wrote a review of on January 9, 2010

5 5

Bought two pairs of these socks for what I thought was the exorbitant price of US $20.00 a pair. It turns out that these socks have lasted for two years as not only summer hiking socks, but as winter cycling/ski liners as well, making them a real champ in my book. As of this review, they are still going strong, with all the benefits of merino wool (non-stinky, non-shrinky, wicks sweat almost magically, and no holes to speak of).
Top-of-the-line product here, as are all Icebreaker items. I usually wear a 10.5-11 and the "medium" has worked just fine for me. Buy 'em and you won't be even slightly disappointed.

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Gabriel

Gabriel wrote a review of on December 8, 2009

4 5

These're some nice pants here- My first piece of clothing from 686 National, and I'm quite happy with the quality of craftsmanship: Solid stitching all-around, good zip/fly button, and plenty of pocket rivets. Even with my cyclist's legs, the 30x32's are on the comfortable side of a slim fit. So no complaints there.
Some quaint little touches (Like the paisly pocket liners?! Who will ever see that? A stash pocket in the leg?! Well, alright.) make you feel kinda pimped out, yet without any metro-overstatement going on.
That being said, I won't be chopping wood or working in the garage with these on, but that's more than made up for by the amount of compliments I've received when out on the town!
Worth the money if this sounds like it's up your alley.

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